Hi Reading, great question that is being asked alot these days.
One of the new reality's of real estate is that the financing process is taking much longer than in the past, One of the responsibilities (and just plain common courtesy) of the Loan officer is to have great communication with you so that the stress level is kept to a minimum. There is a chain of events that needs to happen to get a mortgage approved, your agent and loan officer should be keeping you informed as those tasks are being completed. After you have filled out your application and presented the contract to the loan officer the following events should happen... 1. An appraissal needs to be done of the property you are purchasing. 2. If it is a condo, the condo declarations and budgets for the association need to be sent to the loan officer and underwriter to make sure they are acceptable for financing. 3. Title needs to be shown to be good (sellers attorney's responsibility), 4. A survey has to be given to the loan officer and underwriter, 5. You need to clear all the conditions that have been brought up by the loan officer and underwriter (verifications of employment, bank statements showing deposits for source of down payment, most recent pay stubs and the like are examples). If your loan officer is being uncommunicative or even evasive, your attorney and realtor should be following up with the loan officer to make sure the chain of events needed to get a clear to close are happening. The home buying process may be a bit more complicated these days, but if you are working with a team of seasoned professionals who are looking out for your best interest, the stress should be kept to a minimum. I wish you good luck! ebr